Biotechnology is a broad range of technologies that employ living organisms or parts of them to make diverse products. For instance, drugs, nutritional compounds, environmentally friendly chemicals and materials, biofuels, and novel functional materials can be produced through biotechnology. In essence, biotechnology is all about utilizing the raw ingredients of life and produce maximum output to help solve society’s problems. Extensively, medical biotechnology, agricultural biotechnology and industrial biotechnology will all play increasingly important roles in our everyday life. Biotechnology can also be employed to degrade toxic or harmful chemicals and agents to solve environmental problems.
Biotechnology is all about when living cells and materials produced by them are used for environmental, diagnostic, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. A technology that utilizes biological systems, living organisms or parts of this to develop or create different products. Brewing and baking bread are examples of processes that fall within the concept of biotechnology. A good example is, the use of yeast, a living organism to produce the desired product. Such traditional processes usually utilize the living organisms in their natural form (or further developed by breeding), while the more modern form of biotechnology will generally involve a more advanced modification of the biological system or organism.
Why choose a career in Biotechnology?
Biotechnology is the branch of science which is not confined or bound as a single discipline but includes many interdisciplinary branches of science rapidly gaining significance and opportunities for youngsters who want to explore the new frontiers of science. On one hand, it caters to the industrial sector such as food and beverages industry, textiles industry, biological products, medicines and pharmaceuticals while on the other hand this branch of science caters to the requirements of agriculture, animal husbandry, nutrition and environmental conservation. It is predicted that biotechnology will become one of the most important applied sciences of this century and beyond and that is the reason why biotechnology is the perfect field to get involved with a graduate job.
Trends and Advancements in Biotechnology?
There are so many exciting things happening thanks to the rapid advances in biotechnology. The genome editing of living organisms, including microorganisms, plants and animals, is exciting for many potential applications. With these advances, we could enhance bio-based chemicals production, increase food production and maintain a better nutritional value, or we could manufacture organs for transplant. Metabolic engineering and synthetic biology are advancing very rapidly as well. That has led to the production of many chemicals, fuels and materials from renewable biomass, rather than depending on fossil resources. In recent times, we’ve been seeing some amazing developments in healthcare and the medical sector as well. New, highly complex natural compounds from bio-sources are becoming suitable for pharmaceutical purposes. Stem-cell therapy, ICT-integrated biotechnology, and many others will help address the health challenges brought on by an aging population.
Biotechnology and Agenda 2030
Biotechnology is projected to become as common as having a cellphone or going online. There is going to be an even larger number of companies, both big and small, along with an increasing number of venture companies in the biotech space. In small villages or even at home, biotechnology might be used, just like in Science Fiction novels. You might simply ask a machine to make some household chemicals you need, rather than go buy it at the supermarket. Biotech trash converters could do away with waste. Biotechnology could also help to tackle large national issues such as healthcare. Global healthcare spending, currently, is about 8 trillion US dollars. That price tag could be as high as we have to go, thanks to biotechnology. Even as the population grows, costs shouldn’t increase thanks to technologies such as efficient disease prevention and wellbeing programmes, precision medicine, genome editing, organ production, and stem-cell therapy. I think all of these will become rather routine.
Hopefully by 2030, I think it is realistic to say that biotechnology will become a part of our life, from drugs, medicine and therapeutics to environmentally friendly chemicals, fuels and materials. Biotechnology is the way to go.
References 1. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/12/what-is-biotechnology-how-will-it-change-our-lives/ 2. http://iilmcet.ac.in/blog/why-biotechnology-as-a-career/ 3. https://www.ntnu.edu/ibt/about-us/what-is-biotechnology